Gary Mittelstaedt began serving as WaterAfrica’s President in October 2014. He joined the WaterAfrica Board in 2012 having a desire to make meaningful difference in the lives of those living in extreme poverty. He and his wife Judi traveled to Zambia with WaterAfrica in 2010 and saw first-hand the life transformations that began for village people when clean, sustainable water is provided by the World Vision Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program. They learned how foundational this healthy water is for all subsequent community development efforts including food security, health, children’s education, and economic empowerment. Their second trip to Zambia in 2015 was very exciting to see the tremendous progress being made. Gary retired from Intel Corporation January 1, 2014, following 17 years in global business development roles. . Gary’s 45-year technology career included companies Mentor Graphics, Advanced Micro Devices, Honeywell Information Systems and General Electric.
Stuart Brown is a founding board member and Vice President of WaterAfrica. His interest in water and sanitation issues in Africa is both professional and personal. Professionally, for more than 30 years he has worked as an environmental consultant on water supply development and groundwater cleanup projects throughout the United States. Personally, he has committed himself to furthering the work of WaterAfrica in transforming the lives of villagers in Zambia through improved water supply and sanitation, as well as transforming the lives of those who support WaterAfrica. In 2010, he traveled to Zambia to observe first-hand the ZWASH project and visit villages where boreholes have been drilled and are planned in the future.
Kevin Cummings is a founding board member of WaterAfrica and currently serves as Treasurer. In 2007 he traveled to Zambia on a church sponsored World Vision trip and his heart was broken as he witnessed the lack of safe drinking water sources. He observed women and girls walking long distances to retrieve water from contaminated shallow wells and from streams used for bathing and for watering livestock. Desiring to live out his calling in life to be the hands and feet of Christ, he is committed to providing safe water for people in Zambia.
Kinton Fowler and his wife have been sponsoring children in Africa through World Vision for 15 years. This raised his awareness of the water and sanitation needs in Africa. But in 2007, while on a World Vision trip to Zambia, he became acutely aware of these needs as he traveled through Zambia and saw women using the polluted streams to wash their clothing and dishes and then gather their drinking water from the same streams. He visited villages and saw the difference clean water and sanitation made in their lives. Soon after his return, he and his wife sponsored a well through WaterAfrica in a remote village in Zambia. He remains committed today to clean water for all in need.
Mary Austin joined the Board in September 2014. Mary traveled to Zambia with Water Africa’s first Travel Team in 2008 and her heart was captured by the need to bring fresh water to people living in rural Zambia. Mary has served in Walk4Water leadership for 10 years, working with a team of volunteers to create a walk that has become a tradition for many families in Lake Oswego. Mary traveled to Zambia again in 2012, with a group from her church, Lake Grove Presbyterian. On both trips, she was able to visit her sponsored child in Sinazongwe, Zambia. After a long career with Procter & Gamble in sales & marketing, Mary now works for World Vision as a Donor Liaison Manager. Zambia is one of her team countries, along with 4 others in Africa & Asia. Mary lives in Tualatin and has 3 children, 2 granddaughters, and 2 sponsored World Vision children.
Sandi Swinford, a retired mortgage professional, joined the WaterAfrica board in September 2015. Sandi first became involved with WaterAfrica in 2005, when her older son worked on a high school biology project focused on access to clean water. A group of students and their families expanded this work and engaged the help of Bill and Diane Savage, founders of WaterAfrica, as they worked together to raise money for a borehole (well) in Zambia. A long-time supporter of World Vision projects and child sponsorship, Sandi traveled to Zambia with WaterAfrica in July 2015 and saw firsthand the transformation that comes through World Vision’s Water Program in rural villages. Sandi and her husband currently live in Colorado Springs where she organized the first Walk4Water Colorado Springs held in May 2016! The second Walk4Water Colorado Springs is scheduled for September 2017.
Bill Hall, a retired civil engineer and past president of a consulting firm, joined the board in October 2014. He has been involved with World Vision for many years sponsoring children, as well as supporting World Vision endeavors around the world. Bill visited Africa in 1998 on a hiking trip climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, as a fund-raising event for youth, and became aware of the poverty in many of the areas. Bill had been involved in past years in India giving for education, fish hatcheries, etc. Education for women in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been an avid interest also. Bill has a Christian philosophy of giving, volunteering, and serving. As an engineer, he has the background on building projects, and as a caring individual, wants to see the villages have clean, available water, hygiene and sanitation.
Tedd Tritt retired from a business career in 2007. He continues to be active in creating opportunities for others to succeed through individual mentoring and not-for-profit board leadership positions relating to disadvantaged persons. The Tritt family has been very active in sponsoring children through ministries in third world countries for many years; Tedd gained deep, first-hand experience with impoverished and deprived citizens while in residence and visiting third-world countries on multiple continents. He has deep compassion and determination for contributing and supporting efforts to bring attainable resources to those in need. Helping to provide sustainable solutions is a personal passion.
Ann Zelenka joined the Board in September 2016. She comes with a long background of working and volunteering to serve youth, whether in the schools, church or community. She is currently involved in a national women’s organization encouraging women to further their education and provide scholarships as well as co-chairing the Child Sponsorship Team with Women of Vision. A native Portlander, she has been blessed to travel extensively in the US and globally. Travels have included trips with World Vision to Mozambique, Bolivia and Rwanda, gaining first-hand experiences and understanding the importance of programs like WASH(WAter, Sanitation, & Hygiene), Gender Equality and Economic Empowerment. Seeing these in action brings alive the transformational impact to a community of having ready access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Jesus calls us to serve in the margins and Ann is honored to serve on the WaterAfrica board; to be a part of walking along side those WaterAfrica serves in Zambia.